Investigations (Science and Humanities)
Science and Humanities are classified together as Investigations and taught throughout the school as topic based activities. A new topic is introduced termly and activities are planned and designed to develop all pupil’s cognitive needs. A recent planning and curriculum review has ensured that all planning incorporates each students personalised needs offering a differentiated approach. Investigations gives the pupils opportunities to think, learn, and develop curiosity about the world.
We offer lots of opportunities for our pupils to explore their own community as the students enjoy regular walks to the park, the canal, the orchard and local shops as well as trips out on the bus. Where appropriate visits are made to sites of historical interest where pupils enjoy more sensory experiences of different sights, sounds and smells of time gone by.
The nature of our students learning dictates that they need access to multi sensory experiences. Much of our Science and Humanities teaching and learning focuses on sensory activities such as cooking, experiencing scents and smells, listening to music and exploring ICT. Our regular creative arts and foreign language weeks offer a wonderful opportunity for our children to experience different cultures by dressing up and experiencing tradition. (Our most recent week focussed on Milton Keynes being 50 which offered a whole variety of enjoyable and sensory activities).
Pupils in the foundation stage follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Investigations are taught through exploration of the world around them eg photos, trips out learning through play and cause and effect : all of which encourage sensory exploration.
In Key Stage 1 and 2 Investigations are taught within the thematic primary curriculum. Each term pupils concentrate on a topic which is followed across many different subjects. Pupils are encouraged to continue to develop their exploratory skills and start to question the world around them. Pupils start to learn more about their bodies and how they can affect their environment. Sensory experiences are still a major feature and pupils are encouraged to explore a wide range of different materials.
In Key Stage 3 Investigations are taught in a variety of ways incorporating the PMLD and ASD curricular. The pupils follow a topic based curriculum and each topic covers a variety of different exploratory areas such as art, world of sound and other multi-sensory sessions. Pupils continue to be curious and investigate the world around them and learn about how different things work. Some pupils also have the opportunity to do ‘Forest Schools’ which is an outdoor learning experience which provides engaging, motivating and achievable tasks in a woodland environment.
In Transitions (Key Stage 4 and 5), Investigations are again experienced through the Asdan Personal Progress Modules. These include ‘The Environment’, ‘Meal Preparation and Cooking”, ‘Horticulture and Community Participation”. Pupils are again offered a variety of sensory experiences encouraging and developing exploratory and investigative skills linked to life skills and independence. ‘Forest Schools’ is also offered as part of the Transitions curriculum.
We have recently taken on board a new online method of recording and assessment using “Evidence for Learning”. This has been a great success as it enables teachers to upload photos and videos onto the cloud allowing instant access for teachers and parents which has proved particularly valuable for reviews and reports
Our “Review and Reflect” sessions at the end of the school day can be used to offer the pupils opportunity to re-visit the days activities by looking at photos and videos: a time when all important “Who, Why Where and When “questions can be asked.
Overall, a broad, balanced and fun curriculum is followed which can be differentiated appropriately to meet the individual requirements of all our pupils regardless of their ability.